Friday 9 June 2017

Asia well represented in PEN Translates awards

PEN is an international organisation which promotes literacy and free speech around the globe. English PEN runs PEN Translates, which each year awards grants to UK-based publishers to offset the cost of translating new titles into English. It  has just announced the winners for 2017.  The list includes books translated from 14 languages and 16 countries, including a Uyghur memoir, Palestinian short stories, Somali poetry, a Czech feminist novel, an anthology of Russian women literature, Belarusian essays, a Korean novel, and a Chinese graphic novel. Female authors and translators make up more than half of the award winners.

Lulu Norman, a trustee of English PEN and Chair of the Writers in Translation Committee, said: “We are proud and delighted to support these 18 titles, selected from a record-breaking number of submissions. The books range from classic to groundbreaking and often promise to be both. Entirely new and distinct voices – from Somalia, Syria, Mexico and Korea – can also be heard. It was clear from the many variations on essay, memoir, report or chronicle that the borderlands between fiction and non-fiction have never been so well-explored, genres never so porous. For once the number of original women writers drew level with the number of men. It is wonderful to witness this level of creativity and diversity in today’s translated literature.”

The 2017 PEN Translates award winners are:
The Lime Tree by César Aira, translated from Spanish by Chris Andrews.
Blood Barrios: Dispatches from the World’s Deadliest Streets by Alberto Arce, translated from Spanish by Daniela Ugaz and John Washington.
The Impostor by Javier Cercas, translated from Spanish by Frank Wynne.
Go Went Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Susan Bernofsky.
Three Plastic Rooms by Petra Hůlová, translated from Czech by Alex Zucker.
The Land Drenched in Tears by Söyüngül Chanisheff, translated from Uyghur by Rahima Mahmut.
Brother in Ice by Alicia Kopf, translated from Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem.
The Underground Village by Kang Kyeong-ae, translated from Korean by Anton Hur.
Translation as Transhumance by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.
Narrative Poem by Yang Lian, translated from Chinese by Brian Holton.
Our Story: A Memoir of Love and Life in China by Rao Pingru, translated from Chinese by Nicky Harman.
The Sea Cloak by Nayrouz Qarmout, translated from Arabic by Perween Richards.
A large Czesław Milosz with a dash of Elvis Presley by Tania Skarynkina translated from Belarusian by Jim Dingley.
Freedom Hospital: A Syrian Story by Hamid Sulaiman, translated from French by Francesca Barrie.
Slav Sisters: The Dedalus Book of Russian Women Literature by Natalina Perova (ed.), translated from Russian by Robert Chandler, Ilona Chavasse, John Dewey, Boris Dralyuk, Andrew Bromfield English, Jamey Gambrell, Marian Schwartz, Anna Summers, Arch Tait, Joanne Turnbull.
Can You Hear Me? by Elena Varvello, translated from Italian by Alex Valente.
The Sea Migrations by Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf, translated from Somali by Clare Pollard, Said Jama Hussein, Maxamed Xasan 'Alto'.
1947 by Elisabeth Åsbrink, translated from Swedish by Fiona Graham.